On Oct. 14 seven former students were honored at the fifth annual Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame induction dinner. Their legacies were cemented into Queens College forever, or as one new inductee would say, they “put it in the books!”
Held at the Harbor Links Golf Club in Port Washington, New York, alumni, current students, friends and family of the Queens College athletic community honored some of QC’s most successful athletes and recognized figures in the sports community.
New York Mets broadcaster Howie Rose received special recognition as the Madden Award recipient. The Madden Award honors a former student that has excelled in athletics or contributed to the professional field of sports. Rose graduated from QC in 1977 and his career as a broadcaster began at the campus radio WQMC. His new office is located at Mets-Willets Point in Flushing.
“The friendships I made here, the school produced that bond and it’s endured,” Rose said. “That’s why I’ll always feel a strong connection to Queens College.”
Reflecting on his time at QC, Rose recalled how one of his favorite places to hang out was at Angelo’s Pizza. Whether it was goofing around with his friends, or working at the school newspaper or hosting a radio show, Rose recognizes his involvement at QC had the biggest impact on his life.
“You can go to class and do what you need to do,” Rose said. “But as long as you got involved in something, it creates a camaraderie that you miss when it’s over.”
The other inductees expressed similar sentiments.
The other inductees were: men’s basketball player Shaun Bertin, class of 2006; women’s volleyball player Anna V. Bonadarenko, class of 2005; baseball player Louis Debole, class of 1960; swimming and water polo athlete Derek Ellingson, class of 1998; women’s basketball player Shonda Holder, class of 2005; and golf and basketball player Ed Wolfarth, class of 1965.
Bertin, now an NYPD officer in the 30th precinct, discussed the friendships he made during his time at QC and some memories on the basketball court.
“It’s an honor to be inducted,” Bertin said. “I never thought I’d be in someone’s Hall of Fame. It’s a little unbelievable.”
During his time at QC, the Knights won the 2005 NYCAC championship. An all-conference honoree his senior year, Bertin is tenth all-time in points scored and fourth all-time in rebounds in the program’s history.
“Those two years were the best years of my life,” Bertin said.
Former basketball player, Shonda Holder, misses her teammates. She is now the mother of a two-year- old son and is expecting another child early next year. Holder is the all-time leading scorer for the QC Women’s basketball program and ranks second in rebounds in school history. She currently lives in Maryland and is a school counselor at Sandy Hill Elementary in Cambridge.
When asked what she missed most about QC she thought about her time on the court.
“I miss playing with my teammates,” Holder said. “I miss the atmosphere.” Wolfarth, a dual athlete in golf and basketball, graduated in 1965 and spent an additional 21 years on campus afterward. From 1969 to 1978 Wolfarth taught Sports Science as a full-time professor and then returned in 2003 as an adjunct lecturer until his retirement last year.
While playing golf at QC he received All-Conference honors four times and served as the team’s coach from 1969 to 1977.
One of his favorite memories at QC was any time the faculty scrimmaged against the women’s basketball team.
“They beat us bad every time,” Wolfarth said.
Stories like Wolfarth’s are the main reason why Assistant Vice President of Athletics, China Jude, created a hall of fame in 2011.
When Jude arrived at QC in August 2011 she was attempting to gather information to share with students and alumni, alike. She found it difficult to connect.
“The only way to get people to share their stories is a Hall of Fame,” Jude said.
Jude feels that the connection between former and current students is vital for the QC athletics program.
“My favorite part is having the student-athletes meet the alumni,” Jude said, “They need to know our history.”